Industry Links

Visiting Speakers for Forthcoming Semester

September 15th, 2011 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speakers for Forthcoming Semester
Tags: , , , , ,

Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication hosts another great line-up of publishing professionals this semester. Our guest speakers are drawn from many sectors of the industry, including literary agency, retail, printing, distribution, trade publishing and digital publishing. The visiting speaker sessions give our students valuable knowledge of how different parts of the industry operate. As a highly technology- and consumer-driven industry, publishing is changing at the speed of light and our speakers can give up-to-the-minute insights into both how the industry is adapting to the challenges it faces, and how they as individuals are playing a part in this.

But first things first: how can you go about getting a job once you have your degree? Suzanne Kavanagh of Skillset will provide some guidance and information on this very subject on Thursday September 22. (Please note this session is for Publishing Students only, and will be held at 10.30am, not 2pm.)

The public sessions begin on September 29 with a talk by David Martin of Martins the Printers about how digital printing technology has radically changed the way books are produced. Switching to the other end of the production spectrum, Maggie McKernan, literary editor and agent will give a dual perspective from her career as both an editor and literary agent on October 6. The following week (October 13), Adrian Searle of Glasgow-based publishing imprint Freight Books will be speaking about setting up a publishing company in 2011.

Is there any truth in the suggestion that inside every publisher there is a writer struggling to get out? Well, if that’s the case with you then Dr Paula Morris of Stirling University’s new Creative Writing taught masters course will give you not only the author’s view of the publishing industry but also some tips on getting published as well (October 20).

After we get a chance to catch our breath at the mid-semester break, Jane Camillin of indie sports publisher, Pitch Publishing, will kick off the second half of semester on November 3 by talking about how publishing can be small yet successful, followed on November 10 by Liz Small of Geddes and Grosset/Waverley Publishing, a long-established Scottish trade publisher. Focus then switches to retail on November 17, with Eleanor Logan of Chapter Twenty independent publishing retail consultancy giving the bookseller’s perspective on these interesting times, and our penultimate guest on November 24 is Marion Sinclair, course alumni and Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, the representative body of Scottish publishers. The program closes on December 1 with Simon Meek of Tern TV on digital adaptations of well-known books.

Don’t miss any of them! Attendance at all visiting speaker sessions is free but there is limited space so please register via to book a place. All sessions will be held at 2pm in Pathfoot B2.

Independent Publishing Events

May 30th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Independent Publishing Events
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, in association with the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, is running a series of seminars over the summer in Glasgow on the topic of Independent Publishing: Making and Preserving Culture in a Global Literary Marketplace. The seminars will feature a mix of publishers and others in the book trade, from Scotland and across Europe, and also of academics and other commentators on the industry. The three seminars will be:

 9-10 June Digital Technologies and Publishing (keynote speaker: Chris Meade, Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book on ‘The Amplified Author in the Unlibrary’)

23-24 June Globalisation and Independent Publishing (keynote speaker: Professor Simon Gikandi, Princeton University on ‘Scenes of Reading in the Global Literary Marketplace: Some Postcolonial Reflections)

 22-23 August Cultural Policy (keynote speaker: André Schiffrin, publisher and author of The Business of Books and Words and Money; in association with Publishing Scotland and the Edinburgh International Book Festival

All events are free, but registration is required. You can register direct for the keynote lectures by clicking on the following links: Chris Meade (9 June); Simon Gikandi (23 June). If you would like to attend the seminars in full, please send an email to publishing [@] and we will send you a registration link. More details are available from the Programme website.

One-Stop (Faber Factory) Shop

March 24th, 2011 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on One-Stop (Faber Factory) Shop
Tags: ,

On Friday March 18, Will Atkinson, Simon Blacklock and Nigel Marsh from Faber and Faber made a presentation to Publishing Scotland members at PS’s offices in Edinburgh. The publisher was promoting the existence and services of Faber Factory, a digitisation and distribution service for smaller publishers.  Making the move into digital publishing is now an absolute necessity for all, publishers are being told, but this can be daunting, especially for the smaller publisher with few resources. It takes money, labour, time and consideration to decide to begin digitising titles; then when you finally have decided to do it there are still many things to think about – how many titles should you digitise, who should do it, when should it be done, how long will it take, how can you get them to market? Faber Factory takes the headache away with its one-stop service. As an independent publisher and founding member of the Independent Publishers Alliance, Faber aims to provide much more than just digital conversion. It understands the needs of publishers, the pressures on them, and how they operate. This empathy enables Faber to tailor the service to the needs of the individual publisher. Firstly, Faber can take files already in digital format or it can provide the initial conversion service. After that it will store and distribute the titles, collect receipts, provide detailed sales data and information, and manage contracts with retailers and aggregators. All of this comes at a cost, of course. But the need for publishers to have digital products is immediate and the processed involved will be a considerable burden for many small publishers if they decide to go it alone. So far about 50 publishers are convinced and have signed up for the Faber Factory service. Could you be next?!

From snuff and quill pens to 21st century bookselling…

December 5th, 2010 by Ina Garova | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on From snuff and quill pens to 21st century bookselling…
Tags: , ,

Willie Anderson, the deputy chairman of John Smith & Son, gave a talk at Stirling University’s Centre for International Publishing and Communication recently.

The deputy chairman of John Smith & Son is a charismatic man – well-read, well-informed and well-spoken. For an hour he mixed funny stories from his days in the industry with astute observations about the changing face of bookselling and what the future holds for publishers. 

Mr. Anderson gave a brief account of John Smith’s development as a bookseller starting from 1751. This was when their first store opened in Glasgow, when snuff and quill pens were a part of their stock along with books. Then talked about how John Smith’s decided to concentrate on campus bookselling and exit the general market because they could not compete with the bigger chains.

He also explained why they’ve decided to open a bookshop in Botswana and the deal they’ve made with the university to encourage students to buy from the store. The students are given vouchers from the university, which they can spend on books and other educational resources in the bookshop.

The company has a similar arrangement with the University of East London where students, after finishing their first semester, receive an UEL Progress Bursary Card with £500 they can spend at the John Smith’s store.

Mr. Anderson also mentioned, of course, Amazon – the current threat to chain bookstores.In his words their marketing strategy is ‘brilliant’ because they appear to have everything, but this is not the case. Amazon relies on sheer volume to make a profit. ‘They’ve brainwashed you,’ he smiled, ‘but the sales going through the Amazon web page have been extraordinary for John Smith’s so far.’

 When asked how their website is working out for them, Mr. Anderson replied: ‘You need a website, it’s a good marketing tool, but the sales are not fantastic through it. It is not a very good website,’ he stated, somewhat apologetically.

 The future of bookselling? According to Willie Anderson, it will be interesting to see how the industry will develop in order to overcome the current difficulties in the market. It is a time of great change and publishers need to be increasingly receptive and flexible in regards to these new developments, he concluded.

Visiting Speakers 2010-11

November 8th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speakers 2010-11
Tags: , , , , ,

Every year, we welcome to the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication a number of Visiting Speakers. Our speakers all have some sort of connection to the publishing industry, and some of our speakers have previously studied at the Centre.

This semester’s Visiting Speaker programme includes Louise Franklin (Publishing Sector Coordinator, Skillset), the literary agent Lindsey Fraser (Fraser Ross Associates), Willie Anderson (Deputy Chairman, John Smith & Son), Marion Sinclair (Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland and a graduate of our courses), Adrian Searle (Gutter Magazine and Freight) and Paula Morris (author and Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stirling).

Publishing: an industry set for future prosperity, says Vince Cable

October 9th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing: an industry set for future prosperity, says Vince Cable
Tags: , , , ,

The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, delivered the Williamson Memorial Lecture lecture at the University of Stirling last night.

In his speech, entitled ‘Scottish Economic Lessons for “the general industry of society”’, Vince Cable addressed the current economic situation and his role within the Government in leading both industry and higher education, and laid out his thoughts for the pathway from recovery to growth that he envisages for the UK.

Among the key sectors he identified that would lead to future prosperity, he identified ‘design, media, publishing and computer games’.

Cable also praised the Scottish interaction between industry and universities in the shift from heavy to lighter, higher technology industries. One of the needs for industrial renewal and economic growth is, he commented, skills and training.  As a provider of publishing education, training and research, and strongly connected to local and international publishing companies, the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is a very good example of this interaction.

In conclusion, Cable stated, the principles for economic renewal and success, were provided over 250 years ago by books published in Scotland – by Adam Smith. The history of the book may yet provide our future.

Publishing students win prizes

July 8th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing students win prizes
Tags: , , , ,

Last week saw the graduation ceremony for out 2009-10 cohort of MLitt in Publishing Studies students.

Among the graduating students were some prize winners. Siân Jenkins won The Ruari McLean Prize for Publishing Design (named in honour of the celebrated Scots book designer who died in 2006). The Prize is awarded annually to the student in the MLitt in Publishing Studies who produces an outstanding work of publishing design. Siân was awarded the prize for her work on The Knights of Whorlton, a spread from which can be seen below.

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication Dissertation Prize, for the most outstanding Dissertation, was awarded to Katrina Melvin, for her dissertation ‘Chronicling Change: Representations of women in the mainstream publishing workplace 1970-2010’.

Finally, Siân Jenkins was the recipient of a second prize as the most distinguished student in the MLitt in Publishing Studies. The Routledge Prize is given annually to the most distinguished student in the MLitt in Publishing Studies, and takes the form of £200 work of books donated by Routledge, the Group Sales Director of which is a former University of Stirling graduate, now Honorary Professor and Chair of our Industry Advisory Board, Christoph Chesher.

Well done to both Siân and Kat for their hard work and excellent results!

London Book Fair Report

April 22nd, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on London Book Fair Report
Tags: , ,
London Book Fair under the volcano

London Book Fair under the volcano

Students and staff from the Centre for International Publishing and Communication attended the London Book Fair this week. LBF is a big international trade fair, and normally an opportunity for publishers, literary agents and others from around the world to meet, network and get down to the serious business of buying and selling rights.

LBF 2010, however, was adversely affected by the volcanic ash which kept European airports closed over the week. The halls at Earls Court were much quieter than usual, stands stood empty, and publishers found many of their appointments cancelled. A quick-witted publisher used one of the empty stands to promote a pop-up volcano book.

Students from the MSc in International Publishing Management and MLitt in Publishing Studies attended seminars, had the opportunity to talk to publishers, and even helped out during the launch of a new digital publishing company, by demonstrating Ether Mobile Publishing‘s iPhone app.

Stirling Publishing Students at the Fair

Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship

March 3rd, 2010 by prm | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship
Tags: , , , ,

From the Penguin Books website:

Penguin Books, the world’s best known publishing company, is delighted to launch a newly established diversity traineeship for 2010. The Fellowship has been founded to honour the work that Helen Fraser, recently retired Managing Director of Penguin Books, has done to address the issue of diversity within the company. The Fellowship aims to identify, encourage, and train editorial talent within Britain’s black and ethnic minority community.

Details on how to apply can be found here. Closing date for applications: 12th of March, 2010.

Publishing Scotland conference

February 27th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Scotland conference
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Publishing Scotland conference 2010Members of staff from the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication recently attended the Publishing Scotland conference in Edinburgh. The conference featured a Keynote Speech from Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, and talks on successful strategies for digital publishing, getting the best out of book festivals, retail trends in 2009/10, and the Google Book settlement. The talk from Jon Reed of Reed Media on using social media to promote your business gave us lots of great ideas – thanks Jon! We’ll put some of these into action soon…

As a Network Member of Publishing Scotland, we exhibited the Centre in the Network Showcase. We took a sample of practical work undertaken by students on the MLitt in Publishing Studies, discussed opportunities for work experience and internships with publishing companies, and opportunities for consultancy and training.

Despite the recession and a recent, contentious report from the Literature Working Group to the Scottish Government which advocated that publishers in Scotland no longer be represented by Publishing Scotland but by the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), the mood was upbeat at the conference. For us, this was helped by meeting some of our alumni, and also staff from Floris Books, who told us the good news that they’ve just employed one of last year’s graduates from the MLitt on a permanent basis following a temporary contract.